Coogee Pavilion restaurant mimi's, chef Jordan Toft, table and chairs

Coogee Pavilion has finally launched it’s middle floor, with three highly anticipated new venues opening on Friday 17 January.

Offering a celebration of coastal dining, restaurant mimi’s, cocktail bar will’s and wine and tapas bar Una Más, were five years in the making. A truly collaborative affair, the project is the joint effort of executive chef Jordan Toft, Justin Hemmes and Merivale’s design team (Bettina Hemmes, Vince Alafaci and Caroline Choker of ACME, and stylist Amanda Talbot).

Merivale Hemmes, affectionately known as Mimi, is the restaurant’s namesake. The cocktail bar, will’s, is a nod to her husband Mr. John, whose given name was William.

Toft (Bert’s, Bar Topa) is leading the kitchen, lending each of the venues his signature brand of Mediterranean cuisine viewed through an Australian lens.

“I was inspired by the generosity of regional dining around the Med — those moments when your heart rate slows down, you’re completely at ease and filled with gratitude for life’s simple pleasures,” says Toft. “What you order from the menu is exactly what you see on the plate.”

At mimi’s, simplicity and constraint define the offering. Toft’s skilful technique ensuring seafood, meat and vegetables are all delivered at their best.

Snacks include warmed Queensland scallop, chicken wing murri and summer fennel; barbequed black lip abalone skewer, pancetta, bay; and yeasted puff pastry arlettes, warm d’affinois.

From there sharing is the name of the game. Small dishes include iced raw summer vegetables, tarama, cucumber salt; roasted spanner crab, preserved lemon mayo, chives, soft tin loaf; and grilled pork collar, wild honey, rosemary, roasting juices and peach mustard. For larger dishes diners can expect plates such as salt baked butternut squash, fig leaf oil, yoghurt, cumin and pepitas; charred Murray cod, lemon thyme, grapeseed oil, tangerine and coriander seed and grilled wagyu flatiron #9, bullhorn pepper, kampot and horseradish.

Toft has also curated a special menu dubbed ‘mimi’s selects’ featuring a bump of caviar and frozen vodka. That’s followed by live Queensland mud crab salt baked with fennel pollen aioli and parker rolls and roast young suckling piglet for two with finger lime salsa.

Adrian Filiuta (Bert’s) is behind the wine list. It showcases more than 600 bottles. Chablis is given the spotlight, but a wide selection of new generation wines and iconic Australia producers are also on hand.

Ben Wainwright (Bert’s, Charlie Parker’s) and Luke Ashton (This Must Be The Place) have created a distinctly European drinks list to entice drinkers at will’s. Think Italian coastline paired with refreshing influences from the local environment. Cocktails include ‘The High Tide’ with yellow peach, limoncello, rinomato, Beefeater, and prosecco, while the signature ‘Willy’s Martini’ is served dry, wet or dirty.

The menu at wine and tapas bar Una Más pays homage to the simple Spanish experience using upmarket produce. Dishes include anchovies, butter, radish and salata; crudo and salted pineapple;  scarlet prawns, garlic and chilli; aged quail and harissa; and cauliflower, sheep’s milk, pepitas. A succinct wine list will evolve continuously, while consistently offering low intervention, fun and easy-drinking wines. Mixed drinks put Sherry, Vermouth and Madeira front-and-center.

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